NFL

Roethlisberger to stay with Steelers after agreeing new deal for 2021

By Sports Desk March 04, 2021

Ben Roethlisberger has agreed a new restructured contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers to keep him as the team's starting quarterback for 2021.

A $41.25million cap hit on Roethlisberger's previous contract meant his future with the team was in doubt as the offseason began.

After a meeting with the QB last month, Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement indicating the team's desire to have Roethlisberger back for an 18th season with the franchise.

Roethlisberger had also said he was willing to have his cap hit lowered and the two teams confirmed on Thursday – under two weeks before the start of free agency – that a deal had been done.

"It is my greatest honor to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and give my all for this organization," Roethlisberger said after the new contract was confirmed. 

"I am grateful to be at this stage of my career and more than happy to adjust my contract in a way that best helps the team to address other players who are so vital to our success. 

"I love this game and love to compete, and I believe in this team and my ability to deliver when called upon. 

"It all starts with great preparation and I am ready to go."

Roethlisberger helped Pittsburgh – who have one of the best defenses in the NFL - to an incredible 11-0 start last season.

But they ran out of steam badly down the stretch, losing four of their last five to finish 12-4 before a stunning 48-37 Wild Card playoff defeat to divisional rivals the Cleveland Browns.

Roethlisberger, 39, was coming back from a serious elbow injury which saw him miss all but two games of the 2019 campaign.

His play was steady but unspectacular, leading a Steelers offense that averaged 250.5 net passing yards per game, 15th best in the NFL.

Roethlisberger threw for 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games, with a 94.1 passer rating (19th among qualifying QBs).

At 9.65 yards per completion – the lowest rate in the league – the veteran was more of a game manager than the downfield threat of old.

But despite fellow 2004 draftee Philip Rivers joining Eli Manning in retirement, Roethlisberger will play on in pursuit of a third Super Bowl.

"We are excited we were able to come to an agreement with Ben Roethlisberger on a new contract for him to return to the Steelers in 2021," said general manager Kevin Colbert. 

"We know that Ben can still play at a high level and do special things for this team. 

"Our goal remains the same – to put together a roster that will compete for another championship. 

"We are happy that Ben will be one of our leaders to help us accomplish that goal."

Related items

  • Kyle Shanahan not optimistic about Jimmy Garoppolo possibly returning for the 49ers Kyle Shanahan not optimistic about Jimmy Garoppolo possibly returning for the 49ers

    Kyle Shanahan is not counting on seeing Jimmy Garoppolo back on the field for the San Francisco 49ers this season.

    Quarterback Garoppolo broke his foot in the first quarter of Sunday's 33-17 win over the Miami Dolphins and head coach Shanahan confirmed a report from Tuesday that he did not suffer a Lisfranc injury that would require surgery.

    Without the need for surgery and without any ligament damage, the timeline to recover from a fractured foot is in the seven-to-eight week range.

    It was then being reported that he could be able to return for a Divisional Round game or the NFC Championship game, should the 49ers make it that far.

    While his foot may be healed by the middle of January, Shanahan said he is not going to be ready to get back on the field from such an injury. 

    '"There's that way outside chance late in the playoffs or something like that,'' Shanahan said on Wednesday. 

    "'But it's just an outside chance. I'm not really real optimistic about that. But they didn't rule it out.

    "'I know it's a serious injury that will likely keep him out for the year. It's really good news that there's no ligament damage or anything so he'll be fine once the broken bone heals.''

    There is also the fact to consider if the 49ers are still alive in the second or third week of the playoffs, that Garoppolo’s replacement, Brock Purdy, is more than likely playing well enough.

    After Garoppolo was injured against the Dolphins, Purdy capped his first drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Juszczyk to put the 49ers ahead.

    He threw another three-yard TD pass to Christian McCaffrey, and finished the day 25 of 37 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against a defense that attempted to unsettle him with blitzes.

    Purdy, who was the last pick of this year's draft, had just attempted nine passes in his career prior to facing the Dolphins, and now gets a full week of preparation in practice with San Francisco's deep group of playmakers led by McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk.

    ''We're trying not to make a drastic change,'' Shanahan said. ''They have a similar skill set. We got a lot of confidence in Brock. We've seen him in practice. That's why we were confident enough. 

    "He hasn't played a ton football, so there is some unknown out there. But we know he's got the ability to do it. We know he's got the mentality to do it.''

  • Kentucky QB Levis to skip bowl game, enter NFL draft Kentucky QB Levis to skip bowl game, enter NFL draft

    Kentucky quarterback Will Levis announced on Wednesday he will forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2023 NFL draft, where the fifth-year senior is viewed as a possible top-10 pick.

    Levis said in a social media post that he will also miss the Wildcat'’ matchup with Iowa in the Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve to begin preparations for a pro career.

    "After much thought, I have decided to forgo my final college football game, look to that next step, and declare for the NFL draft," Levis wrote.

    "To my team-mates, UK staff members, Wildcat community, and (Big Blue Nation), I cannot thank you enough. I'll forever be indebted to all those I had the pleasure to cross paths with here, and my immense love for you will remain strong in my heart, forever."

    Levis is considered one of three potential franchise quarterbacks eligible for next year's draft, along with Alabama's Bryce Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud.

    Young has yet to announce a decision on his future plans, while Stroud is preparing for the Buckeyes' College Football Playoff clash with No. 1 Georgia in the December 31 Peach Bowl.

    The 23-year-old Levis established himself as an elite prospect with two outstanding seasons at Kentucky after transferring from Penn State.

    He helped the Wildcats to only the fourth 10-win season in program history by throwing for 2,826 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2021, and threw for 2,406 yards and 19 touchdowns in 11 games this season for a Kentucky program that was ranked as high as No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25.

    "Because of Kentucky, I found belief and confidence in myself that had not been reached beforehand and most importantly, we won some incredibly memorable ball games in my college career," Levis said. "It has been a great move forward."

  • NFL Fantasy Picks: Back Tua to bounce back in LA NFL Fantasy Picks: Back Tua to bounce back in LA

    It's crunch time in the fantasy football season.

    For many leagues, this is the final week of the regular-season campaign.

    By this point, the contenders have been firmly separated from the pretenders and, if you're lucky enough to be in the former category and still in the hunt for the playoffs, you need to nail your lineup every week.

    Stats Perform is here to offer a helping hand, with a look at four offensive players and a defense that are excellent bets for success in Week 14 of the NFL season.

    Quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers

    It would be understandable to be somewhat deterred by Tagovailoa's four-turnover performance in the Dolphins' defeat to the San Francisco 49ers last week.

    But even in one of his worst performances of the season, Tagovailoa still threw two long touchdown passes and, on another day, several of the potential big plays he missed would have resulted in game-shifting completions.

    Having faced the NFL's top defense in Week 13, Tagovailoa gets a more favourable opponent in Week 14, with a Chargers defense allowing the eighth-most yards per play (6.59) in the league sure to present plenty of opportunities for him to bounce back.

    Running Back: Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

    It's tough to trust the Steelers offense, but things are lining up well for Harris to excel in this AFC North rivalry game.

    Harris has at least 86 rushing yards in three of his last four games, which have seen him score three touchdowns.

    With Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson injured, a defensive struggle in which the Steelers can lean on the run game appears likely in Pittsburgh, potentially setting Harris up for his best game of the year, if he can shake off an oblique issue.

    Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Rams

    Adams has returned to his Green Bay Packers form as the Raiders have surged back to somewhere near playoff contention.

    Since Week 9, Adams leads the NFL in receiving yards per game (132.8) and receiving touchdowns (7).

    On Thursday, he faces a Rams defense that is a shadow of its 2021 self without Aaron Donald. Look for his hot streak to continue in primetime.

    Tight End: T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

    How about a little tight end revenge game?! 

    Okay, so Hockenson might not have much against the Lions after they dealt him to a Vikings team destined for the playoffs, but he is in a great spot to do significant damage against his former employers.

    Hockenson has averaged eight targets per game since his Vikings debut in Week 9. Against a Lions defense allowing 402.2 total yards per game, that kind of target share could result in a huge day for the former first-round pick.

    Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

    The Kansas City defense is vulnerable to the run and last week gave up 431 yards to the Cincinnati Bengals.

    But the Broncos' offense is not close to the standard of the Bengals and is averaging just 13.6 points per game. There is no concern for Kansas City's defense here.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.